Railsplitters remain in contention for NCAA tournament bid

Published 6:19 pm Thursday, May 2, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Lincoln Memorial baseball team remains in contention to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship as the Railsplitters are slotted at No. 6 in the latest Southeast Region rankings.

The NCAA rankings are the official ones used to determine the participants and seeding for the 2019 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship, which is comprised of 56 teams, including 23 automatic bids. The top six teams will earn spots in the Southeast Regional field, including the champions of the South Atlantic Conference, the Peach Belt Conference and Conference Carolinas tournaments.

The top two teams in the region will host three-team regionals that are set to be held May 16-18. After that, 16 super regionals will be played May 24-25 to determine the teams that are heading on to the World Series in Cary, N.C.

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This week’s Southeast Region rankings consists of No. 1 North Greenville, No. 2 Newberry, No. 3 Catawba, No. 4 Mount Olive, No. 5 North Georgia and No. 6 Lincoln Memorial followed by No. 7 Wingate and No. 8 Columbus State.

Two automatic bids have already been clinched, and fortunately for the Railsplitters those two teams are already ahead of them in the regional rankings, as North Greenville won the Conference Carolinas tournament, while Catawba went undefeated over the weekend to win its eighth all-time SAC tournament title.

Lincoln Memorial is currently in position to be selected to the NCAA tournament but will have a major rooting interest in the Peach Belt Conference tournament this weekend.

To remain in the sixth and final spot to earn a bid to the Southeast Regional field, the Railsplitters likely have to hope that North Georgia is able to win the PBC tournament. If any other team wins it, Lincoln Memorial will almost certainly be knocked out of the field by whatever team emerges in the PBC tournament in North Georgia’s stead. Columbus State is the most likely challenger, while Flagler, Young Harris and USC Aiken also have at least 27 wins stockpiled this season.

The Railsplitters (33-17) had a tough go this past weekend at the SAC tournament. Lincoln Memorial, which was aiming to become the third team in conference history to win three straight tournament titles, started strong with a 6-0 win over Wingate, but followed that up with an 8-0 loss to Catawba and a 10-2 setback against Wingate. The Railsplitters combined for just nine hits total in those two games despite entering the tournament as the league-leader in batting average.

The Railsplitters will be hoping to earn their third consecutive NCAA tournament bid and fourth in program history when the selections for the 2019 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship are announced on May 12.